Monday, November 19, 2012

'Zat You, Santa Claus? - A Radical Idea For Holiday Charity

Loading... cocking... BAM!
Finally, on to the next round.
Sorry to keep you ladies in waiting, but sifting through ALL one's earthly possessions is
no small order.
I'm forcing myself to chisel out a chunk of time for this next topic,
which is of dire importance, especially before Black Friday descends upon us and creates a
Zombie hoard that hungers for sales as though it were a matter of life or death!
If you are among this massive gathering of consumerists, I'm not hatin' on ya.
But, I want to put this out there before you feel a massive pull on your wallet.
Maybe I can appeal to your heartstrings and give them a tug in the other direction.

There is a much more urgent congregation of citizens that need $20 more than Uncle Elmer needs another pair of Santa Socks.

Homelessness is at an all time high in the US with the devastated economy,
and worldwide it is an issue beyond comprehension!
Among the homeless are growing numbers of Women and Children,
50% of whom are fleeing domestic abuse, and other's who have simply had their veritable
woven-fabric-of-life rug pulled out from under them. Just how urgent am I talking here?

The statistics of homelessness on a Global scale are stifling:


Shine Global - Homelessness For Children in the US


Homeless World Cup - 100 Million People Worldwide Are Homeless

Even if you didn't read these word for word, the titles alone paint a rather dismal picture.
So what can we do about it?

Here's your detour to some Charities of Choice that are helping put the pieces back together for those who are seeking them out:


These organizations focus on Families, Women and Children who have found themselves in the ultimate of unfortunate conditions. Within their sites, you can find ways to help,
from donating to volunteering:

http://barrettfoundation.org/

http://www.women-in-need.org/

http://www.nationalhomeless.org/factsheets/families.html

http://www.bfwc.org/homeless_services.php

If you've ever had a hard time being grateful for the cards you've been dealt in life,
VOLUNTEER TODAY!
I think my most valuable life lessons have been gained from
buying a homeless person a cup of coffee, and listening to their life story.
How they still have a sense of humor through all that life has thrown their way, I don't know, but some of them are the most interesting and inspiring people on the planet.
The World Cup agrees, and is a key player in fighting for the people:
Homeless World Cup

And speaking of planet, if you're feeling extra adventurous and need a true revelation,
volunteering abroad will open up your crown chakra in a whole new way.
You may have noticed these listings in my random rounds, but today they deserve a spotlight:


crossculturalsolutions.org


goabroad.com/volunteer-abroad
You will discover a whole new world, and a whole new you, in one go!

If you don't have the time to volunteer, you may also think you don't have the money.
But, you can donate anything from $5 to $50,000 dollars to most organizations.
As many have said before me, sacrifice one Starbucks, feed one who is starving.

I love this organization, because it lets you single out exactly where your money is focused, and it doesn't take much to make a big difference in someone's life:


  Seva Foundation

On the other hand, this organization let's you single out a person or family in need, but you go beyond a one time donation to helping them start a business of their own.
This goes into the "teach them how to fish" category, and can make a world of difference
around the globe. It's a gift that literally keeps on giving:


Kiva - Loans That Change Lives

There are tons of ways to contribute to those in need, as you can see above.

But, I mentioned a Radical Idea for Holiday Charity in the title.
If that caught your attention, then that's all I wanted.
While these take some guts to do,
they stay within the confines of what is safe and expected.

I had a radical idea, but as it turns out, it is too radical.
However, I can't just lead you on like that and still sleep at night,
so "Don't Try This At Home".

My idea was to hand out Santa Costumes to the Homeless.
Crazy, I know.
But I used to live in Downtown LA very near Skid Row, and as I mentioned, most of the Homeless people I've talked to have a very good sense of humor.
I was thinking, Pros:
1) They would have something warm to wear.
2) They could probably earn more money for themselves.
3) Smiles for everyone! You can't be sad while wearing a Santa suit.


And just imagine what SantaCon would be like this year!

But, eventually the Cons caught up to me:
1) I do not want to compete with the Salvation Army. They do really good work!
2) Someone is going to think this is NOT funny at all, and perhaps insulting.
(once again, this doesn't include my comrades in Downtown)
3) With the price of one Santa Costume, you could feed 10 Homeless people!

So, it doesn't fly, but it was fun to think about while it lasted.

Even still, there stands the fact that no one can help but smile at Santa.
So, if you are planning on volunteering, especially for a children's charity,
why not switch the roles around?



Did you smile? Yeah, ya did! 
Share those smiles, since laughter is the best medicine. It's a universal truth.

It was quite the challenge to find a Well Priced and Non-Sexy Pink Santa Suit, BTW.
So take advantage, because there is no dress code for entertaining at a soup kitchen, but I certainly would not recommend anything sexy. That would just be tasteless and humiliating, for you.
Not to mention, Rockin' the Bearded Lady look is totally in this season ;)

On that note, I'm off to the Salvation Army myself to donate three huge boxes of warm clothes and items I will not be needing for my move. I trust they will find their rightful place in the world.
Spring cleaning comes early for this chick.

While you ponder the above propositions, let Louis lighten the mood for you.
Then you can figure out where your Santa-like service would be
best suited for this Holiday season:


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The Pretty Pink Arsenal by Lauryn Otten is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.